For some strange reason, the Washington Nationals have not clinched the NL East yet, but their magic number to do it is at 1. The Cardinals spoiled the Nationals possibility of clinching the NL East for the Nats yesterday at Busch Stadium. Now the Nats and the Phils are set to close out the season with a 3 game set on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
The Nationals only need to beat the Phillies once, or have the Atlanta Braves lose to make it to their first ever National League East title as the Nationals. The franchise did travel from Montreal to DC but for the Nats, it's their first time in the top spot since they started playing baseball in Washington in 2005.
The Nats ticket office is working overtime, the inability by them to clinch the division has forced the Nats ticket office to put 'what if' scenarios on sale for the DC fans. If the Nationals don't win against the Phillies and the Braves win all their games, there could be a one-game playoff for the division champion and the loser ends up with the Wild Card.
The Phillies could make it very interesting for the Nationals and possibly force them into a situation where they don't actually win the division. Talk about a spoiler, that would be a major spoil for this team, that appeared to have the NL East locked up for themselves.
The Nats front office though is in full swing offering season ticket plans to the fans though, and in a strange promotion, the Nats actually will give 2 free seats when you buy 2 season seats in certain areas of the ballpark. There is even an option at buying the season plan for several years instead of just the upcoming 2013 season.
It's been a bit of an issue with the stadium not filling up down there in DC the past month of so. The team hasn't been selling out the stadium even though the team has been in first place for most of the season. Despite the Nationals not wanting fans of the Phillies down there, in reference to their 'Take Back The Park promo", in which tickets against games with the Phillies this year were sold to local residents first before the season started, it appears that the promo was kind of a bust.
I don't think we'll see the mass of Phillies fans down in DC for this series, a few ardent fans will make the trip to see the Phils close out this season. Only 3 more games remain in the regular season and then the Phils just pack up and go home for the first time since 2007, the Phillies will not be part of the postseason. Still strange to think that we won't have playoff baseball with the Phillies to watch this year.